It may seem counterintuitive, but chorus lyrics usually become less rhythmically active.
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Since song choruses typically become more energetic than their preceding verses, it may seem that chorus lyrics (i.e., the rhythms that you would use to set the words) should become more rhythmically active. But in fact, you’ll notice that in many songs, the opposite happens. While the chorus uses backing instrumental rhythms that are shorter and more intense, you’ll find that the chorus lyric uses longer rhythms.
That may seem counterintuitive, but there’s a good reason for it, and it has to do with the primary purpose of chorus lyrics. A chorus lyric has the main duty of describing the singer’s emotions, their reaction to what the verse has just described.
To allow emotion to work, you’ll find that many songs (though not all) feature an elongation of rhythmic values in the lyric. You’ll notice it to a modest degree in Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”, and to a greater extent with Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.”
Not only do those choruses feature longer notes than their verses, you’ll also note that the rhythms become more predictable, repetitive, and feature more repeated rhythmic cells.
You can draw a direct correlation between that predictable feature of chorus rhythm, and the predictable feature of chorus chords. That move from “fragile” verses (i.e., rhythmically and harmonically complex or ambiguous) to a “strong” chorus (i.e., rhythmically and harmonically settled) is the common approach for most songs in popular music genres.
As a songwriter, don’t fear that word predictable. It’s a characteristic that needs to exist in most music to at least some degree. And that sense of predictability of chorus rhythm allows for the important element of emotion to come forward.
That has the beneficial effect of roping your listeners in, and keeping them listening.
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